The new work by the young Bessie-winning choreographer and TED fellow Camille A. Brown just finished a highly acclaimed world premiere at the Joyce Theater in New York and now travels to Chicago. Brown’s piece is a response to the flat tropes of American black girls in popular media—characterizations usually written by white men—as either angry or strong. “I have a sense of humor too,” Brown said in an interview on MSNBC. “And sometimes I need rest. But it isn’t weakness.”
“BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play” explores how the games and play contribute to the complex process of growing up, of forming an identity. Three duets portray black female friendship in youth, adolescence and maturity, blending double-dutch, hand clapping, stepping, jukeing and tap with gesture and performance-dance languages. The six company members are accompanied onstage by piano and electric guitar, but their feet, hands and voices provide the rhythm that drives the show forward. Each performance ends with a dialogue with the audience. This isn’t the typical post-show talk back; it’s very much a part of the performance. Be sure to stay to the end. (Sharon Hoyer)
Camille A. Brown & Dancers at the Dance Center of Columbia College, 1306 South Michigan, (312)369-8330. Thursday-Saturday, November 5-7 at 7:30pm. $30.